project

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Science & the law

Overview

Our research on science and the law establishes the important role of a solid and up-to-date evidence base for litigation and produces innovative, legally relevant research findings. Working with the Environmental Change Institute (ECI) we strengthen the link between greenhouse gas emissions and climate impacts, in science and in law.

Our work

Our work integrates climate science with legal research and practice. We work in close partnership with the Environmental Change Institute, a world leader in the science of climate change attribution, and a lead partner on the World Weather Attribution initiative. We are embedded in a large close-knit network of scientists around the world at the cutting edge of this field and actively collaborate with scientists from a range of different disciplines. Our research has identified current and potential barriers to, and opportunities for, using the latest scientific evidence in courts. We also conduct research that evaluates the factual basis for causal claims made in pending and future litigation and provide scientific advice to lawyers.

Our research develops new methodologies in attribution science, for instance in attributing health impacts to greenhouse-gas emissions, and frameworks for integrating climate-science evidence into legal argumentation to facilitate wider use of scientific evidence in litigation. To achieve these goals, our team works with strategic litigants to map and/or develop the evidence base for ongoing or future cases.

The growth in legal action around climate change offers opportunities to accelerate the transition to a net-zero economy but the financial implications of climate litigation remain poorly understood. We work with private-sector actors and leading academics across the University of Oxford and beyond to assess, quantify, and reveal the materiality of these risks.

What we've achieved

Recent research highlights

  • Fredi Otto | Imperial College London

Contact us

If you have any questions, would like to learn more, or want to get involved: please contact Rupert Stuart-Smith or Friederike (Fredi) Otto.